Miami Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
Riding a bike can be an excellent way to travel or get in some exercise, but it is not without its risks. Bicycle accidents and bicycle collisions are all too common occurrences and are often more serious than someone just falling off their bike.
In Florida, bicycle collisions are defined as bikes and their riders being hit by motor vehicles and trucks on the roadways of the state. These accidents can leave bike riders with serious and life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, the number of bike accidents in Florida is staggering and the problem seems to be getting worse.
According to recent statistics, there were 6,398 bicycle crashes in the year 2021. Of those bicycle accidents, 182 bicycle riders died of serious injuries. Among the reasons for these deadly accidents include failure to yield, reckless driving, and running a stop sign. Other causes of bicycle accidents in Florida include motor vehicle drivers swerving into cyclists, turning in front of oncoming bicycles, and leaping over the curb onto the sidewalk.
Know Your Rights as a Florida Cyclist
If you are a bike rider in Florida, it would be prudent to learn about the state’s bicycle laws. This will give an overview of what riders should know when cycling through our beautiful Sunshine State to avoid a bicycle crash and serious injury!
When Do Cyclists Have the Right of Way?
Cyclists have the right of way over drivers, but pedestrians always have precedence according to 2021 Florida statutes. If a bike lane is accessible, a cyclist must use it rather than the road. However, if a bike lane is not present and a cyclist chooses to ride on the sidewalk, they become a pedestrian and must obey the laws that pedestrians must follow. They also must yield to pedestrians on foot. When bicyclists ride their bikes, pedestrians should always have room on the sidewalk.
It’s important to signal when you need to stop or turn because it helps other people know where you’re going and will help prevent a bike crash! Bicyclists may also utilize crosswalks, although they must follow traffic rules and signs. If people are present, bicyclists must wait until it is safe to cross the street without blocking it. In this case, the pedestrian has precedence over the biker.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries in Miami, Florida
Fortunately for Miami bicycle accident victims, there is a lot of protection against economic damages. A settlement would help cover the financial costs associated with common bicycle accident injuries and can include medical expenses or lost wages. Economic damages are also awarded in cases of reduced earning capacity.
Sometimes, non-economic damages are included to compensate victims for intimate and intangible injuries. Non-economic damages are generally given for issues such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
Because these injuries are so intimate and subjective, non-economic damages can vary significantly in each personal injury lawsuit. You’ll need the assistance of a knowledgeable Miami bicycle accident lawyer to evaluate your claim. A Miami bicycle accident attorney will have a deep understanding of Florida law concerning a bicycle accident claim and will help you receive the greatest compensation possible.
As Lawyers AND Cyclists We Understand Bicycle Accidents
If you were involved in a bicycle accident and looking for a lawyer who understands what you are going through, then you found the right place. At Kaire & Heffernan, we are not only lawyers but also avid cyclists. Our firm is unique in that we not only understand how bicycle accidents happen but also have the ability, from our years of handling medical malpractice cases, to understand your injuries. Our Miami bicycle accident lawyers work with the best experts to provide you with the best possible representation.
I am sure the last thing you expected when you went out for that ride was that you would be looking for an attorney. We understand the process and choices can be overwhelming. Which doctor do I go to? Who will pay for my lost wages and medical bills? What about my bike? Feel free to call and we can answer your questions. We don’t advertise on TV, bus benches or taxicabs, we rather you ask some of our fellow lawyers or some of your cycling friends about us. We believe, as we hope you do, that choosing the right attorney is critical, and should not be made on the basis of a commercial with a client holding up a check, but rather on the basis of who is best equipped to help you get the results you deserve.
Every year hundreds of people in Miami end up with serious injuries while bike riding. Miami has beautiful scenery but very few dedicated bike paths. So most bicyclists have no choice but to share the road with cars, motorcycles, buses and commercial vehicles.
Bicyclists understand this risk and take precautions to be seen and be safe. However, certain drivers on the road do not. They fail to see the bicyclist, perhaps because they are distracted. They do not give the right of way at intersections. They open their vehicle’s doors without carefully looking to see if a bicyclist is moving towards their parked car. Worst yet, some drivers simply don’t care and drive in a reckless fashion. Whatever the reason, these acts of the negligence cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
Similar to car accidents, a cyclist is entitled to compensation for the other person’s negligence. Mark Kaire is an avid cyclist. He too rides the same Miami roadways that you ride every day. Kaire & Heffernan, L.L.C., have won over $1 million in settlements for bicycle accident victims in Miami and greater Florida since 1997.
Who Will Pay For?
The damage to your bicycle can be a significant item of damages. If you were riding a carbon frame, then the bike is most likely a total loss. Even if you cannot see cracks in the frame, an accident can compromise the structural integrity of the bike. We will work with the insurance company to get you a new bike. We do not charge a fee for handling your property damage, but rather offer this service as a courtesy. Either way, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages to repair your bike or for the cost of a replacement bike.
Your Medical Bills
The answer may surprise you. If you owned a car at the time of the accident or resided with a relative that owned a car then your car insurance company-or your relatives will pay your medical bills up to $10,000.00. This is known as PIP or No-fault. I know, it makes no sense, but that is the No-fault law. The most common question we get asked is, If I wasn’t at fault and not in my car, then why is my car insurance going to pay for my medical bills? However, if you do not own a car or live with a relative that owns a car, then the at-fault drivers PIP insurance carrier will pay your medical bills, up to $10,000.00. The balance will be paid to you from the at-fault driver’s Bodily injury liability policy. Future medical bills are part of your settlement.
Your Lost Wages
See my medical bills above. The only difference is that lost wages are payable at 60% of your gross wages, as opposed to medical bills which are payable at 80%. Again, the damages payable under PIP are limited to $10,000.00, with any excess being claimed as part of your settlement. Future lost wages are part of your settlement.
This is all-encompassing and involves compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, scarring, disfigurement, and wrongful death damages. These damages are payable from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance carrier or your uninsured motorist carrier. These are the damages, along with your past lost wages and medical bills (in excess of $10,000.00) and future lost wages and medical bills that we will seek to recover for you.
What Are The Most Common Injuries?
There is no commonality when it comes to bicycle injuries. Every accident is different and horrific in its own way. That being said, the most common injury is probably a fractured collarbone. A rider will instinctively extend his arms when falling, and unfortunately, the force on impact can lead to a broken collarbone. Obviously, bicyclists have little to no protection against a vehicle and being thrown headfirst into on-coming traffic or smack onto the asphalt can result in life-changing injuries like –
- Back and spine injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Head injury
- Broken bones
Did you Know?
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2% of all traffic-related fatalities were bicyclists. In 2011, as a Nation, we lost 677 cyclists.
- Of the 677 cyclists, 14% were children under 14 years of age.
- You can download a Bicycle Safety Kit from the NHTSA site and there is bike- riding clinics to join too.
- Do you know the correct procedures for fitting a bike helmet? You can learn more at the NHTSA website.
You have been Knocked off your Bike while Riding
After a collision, remain calm and do not discuss who is at fault. If you are capable, you will need to exchange personal information and insurance Information with the other person.
It is great to take photos and get witness information. Record as much as you can on the scene. Every detail is important in the evaluation of your case.
Miami, FL Bike Accident Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you are injured in a bike accident, it is important to have an experienced Miami bicycle lawyer by your side. A personal injury lawyer from the law firm Kaire & Heffernan can help file lawsuits on behalf of clients who were seriously hurt due to this recent rise in cycling accidents across Florida’s most dense city – Miami!